Bad news continues unabated.

red750

Well-Known Member
#1
I think I told you of the disasters which occurred this time last year, with hail storms that damaged cars and the house. Then there was the collision which wrote off our small car, and the ducted heating packing up at the start of last winter. Then late in November, my daughter woke one morning to find the cat had died in her bedroom overnight. During the week before Christmas my daughter noticed a swelling on the tummy of our 5 year old Spoodle. We took the dog to the vet who removed the lump ($1300) and sent it for pathology. Got the result yesterday. Lymphoma - incurable. Prognosis - weeks, maybe a few months, but not years. How much longer can this continue?
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#2
Sorry to hear that Peter, you have my sympathies. I lost my little dog to cancer earlier in the year but he was seventeen so had a good run before that.

Cheers, Willie.
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#5
Looking after a pet animal can be a very expensive exercise. No medicare for Pets. We love them so much we will usually spend "whatever it takes"... Not very comforting, but you are not on your own there. It's just a part of the deal. When my last DOG died as a result of a snake bite I decided "No More" (for me) and I just enjoy all animals, birds, etc around me in their natural (and often cruel) environment.. Nev
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#6
F H
I said the exact same, when my late mum's dog passed (17yo), then our dog (Maltese/shitzu) passed at 15yo, NO more pets its heart-breaking !.
Last month found three stray kittens behind the big shed, (really hot time), I couldn't catch any of them,
One escaped, one died, Then Silly me brought the half dead kitten in to show the misses, & then used an eye-dropper to get water into it's mouth & revived it.
Called it "LUCKY" (to be alive & not in the bin with it's sibling.)
ANY taker;s. LoL
spacesailor
 

Old Koreelah

Well-Known Member
#7
Looking after a pet animal can be a very expensive exercise. No medicare for Pets. We love them so much we will usually spend "whatever it takes"... Not very comforting, but you are not on your own there. It's just a part of the deal. When my last DOG died as a result of a snake bite I decided "No More" (for me)...
One aspect of choosing a pet that few of us consider: what will it do if/when we fall off our twig?
My kid tells me (based on her professional experience) there are two types of dog: those breeds like border collies that will stay guarding your dead body until they starve to death- and the others which will eat your face...
 
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facthunter

Well-Known Member
#9
If people wanted a dog they would already have one of their own, surely? Often other's have to suffer your dog. (MY DOG never barks) when you are not home. Nev
 

Geoff13

Well-Known Member
#10
red750
I am going to tell you a short story about incurable Lymphoma in dogs.
It is widely regarded as the most aggressive form of cancer that dogs get and the prognosis is never good.
We have a 10 year old Shetland Sheep Dog, his name is Koby. We love him to bits and spoil him rotten.
The week before Anzac Day 2016 he was sitting on my knee watching me surf the net, in fact I quite possibly was even on this site.
I felt a small lump under his neck. Now having lost 3 of our last 4 Shelties to cancer of different sort, I had him at the vet within 30 minutes
24 hours later we had a diagnosis of incurable Lymphoma.
Prognosis was 2 to 3 weeks without treatment, 2 to 3 months with treatment up to and absolute max possibility of 12 months if everything went perfectly.

So off we went to the oncologist with fear in our hearts and she confirmed what we had already been told but added that in her experience Shelties rarely if ever responded to Chemo like most dogs do and normally the worst outcome can be expected.
Obviously we had a million questions but the one we felt was most important was is it being kind to him to treat him with chemo if the chance of helping him was negligible, would we really be doing it for him or for ourselves.
The answer was Chemo for dogs is nothing like Chemo for Humans.
Yes they use a similar combination of drugs and for the same reasons, but doses are much smaller.
When I asked why I was told because humans understand why we are making them sick to try to cure them, but you can't explain that to a dog so we just give them enough to buy them time without making them sick.
So realistically the aim with a dog is simply remission not cure.

We decided to give Koby the treatments.
Apart from his second treatment where he vomited for a day and had the runs (caused by them trying to find the right dose) he had no visible side effects from the Chemo at all.
The effect on his symptoms were immediate and have been permanent, ie lumps are gone and have not reappeared.
After 4 months of treatment with no actual reduction in his Lymphoma, we were told that they would have to stop the treatments as his platelet count had fallen so low that there was an imminent risk of his immune system shutting down completely. So we took him home and waited for his platelet to regenerate, or the Lymphoma to start to grow again.
On his second weekly visit to the oncologist after stopping treatment we were told that not only had the Lymphoma start to get worse, but his platlet count was still falling.
We were told to take him home spoil him and be ready for the worst, so we did.

24 hours later we had a call could you please bring Koby in we would like to talk to you. So we did.
We were offered what at the time was a trial drug.
One of our Oncologist's had been to a conference where she had spoken about Koby's case and there was a visiting international Vet who offered a lifeline.
It was a trail Drug. I cannot remember the name and Julie is away atm so I cant ask her.
It was very expensive.
It could only be administered a max of 3 times.
In previous trails it had forced 50% of recipients into remission with little to no side effects on the successful patients or the ones it didn't help.
We decided that the 4 months we had bought Koby were all just to keep him going to this point so we opted for the Drug.

So Koby had the shot in Sep 2016.
The results are as follows.
Koby is sitting on my lap as I type this.
He has no lumps although I check him every day.
He has no symptoms and no side effects.
He still has Lymphoma but it is not getting any worse.
His platlet count has just now increased to the point where we are game to let him venture at to places where he could meet other dogs. (until now I have had to walk him very late at night to minimise the risk of him catching something from other dogs)
The count is still to low for him to have further Chemo.
He goes back for blood tests monthly to keep an eye on any changes. (Visit were weekly then fortnightly).

He is still spoilt rotten not only by us but everyone at the oncologist come out to meet him on his monthly visits and actually compete to be the one to carry him out back for his test.
They refer to him as their wonder dog.
They have now used this drug on other dogs that we are aware of some with similar results to Koby, some have gone into remission and others sadly have had no effect.

I know this is a long post, but Koby has a long story to tell when it could have easily ended almost 3 years ago.

What I am trying to say is even if the prognosis is as bad as it can be, and with Lymphoma it will be, there is always hope.
If you have the means then buy your pet as much time as you can because you never know what might be just around the corner.
If you got this far then thank you for reading Koby's story.
Woof
 

red750

Well-Known Member
#12
Thank you for your touching and informative post, Geoff. Give Koby a pat and scratch behind the ear for me.

As you say, "if you have the means". Unfortunately I don't. I've even had to put my own heart medication on the slate because I didn't have the cash to pay for it. It breaks my heart and reduces me to tears to hear Bella cry. I'm sure she knows what's happening and that she doesn't have much time with us. She is happy sitting on the couch with me stroking and petting her, or sleeping by my wife's feet, but cries when put to bed in the laundry with our other dog Roxy, where she has slept since we got her as a puppy. I think Roxy knows what is going on as well.Dogs have a sixth sense about these things.
 

red750

Well-Known Member
#13
It was a trail Drug. I cannot remember the name and Julie is away atm so I cant ask her.
It was very expensive.
Hi Geoff, Can you give me a ballpark figure on the cost. As you say, you never know what is around the corner - we could win the Powerball jackpot!!
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#14
I HAD A "TRIAL DRUG"
1945 I went down with that terminal disease "osteomyelitis"
Thanks to Dr Fleming & his wonderful penicillin, they didn't amputate my leg and live to annoy you all. LoL
spacesailor
 

red750

Well-Known Member
#16
Well, maybe 2019 will be a better year than 2015/16/17/18. We received a phone call from the vet this afternoon. We had paid $230 for an additional pathology test to be done. It turns out that Bella has a rather rare form of lymphoma. Instead of the normal T-cell version, hers is low grade B-cell, and instead of affecting her whole lymphatic system, this version may be limited to the one node. So there is a chance, only a chance, that they may have got it all, and she may have a more normal lifespan. She has been placed on steroid tablets for a few weeks, rather than chemo which was quoted at approximately $10,000. We have to check her for lumps on the nodes daily, and have regular checkups with the vet.
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#17
Indications are that coming back as a vet in the next life would work out well for you Red.. I looked up re incarnation. It's m not trading your SUV on a new car.. If you have lots of Pets, that's all good for the Vets. Looks like you have to be rich to have an animal.. Nev
 

Geoff13

Well-Known Member
#18
I am not sure if you have to be rich facthunter but they can certainly be expensive when it goes wrong.
As I said above we have lost 3 of our last 4 to Cancer, and the 4th one had a very rare heart condition.
I feel as though I own the Vet Specialist Centre at Springwood on Brisbane Southside, I have spent so much time and money there over the last 10 years.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#19
Geoff 13
Don't spend it all at the same vet or like my local vet "Pendle hill", they'll retire & go on an extended cruise.
I didn't think our vet was that old to retire. (too much money)
spacesailor
 
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